Drug Test Type Positive Negative Detection Time Frame
Urine Drug testing · Accurate and reliable results

· Affordable, inexpensive drug test kit· Drug testing for different specimen of abuse, including various drugs, alcohol and nicotine· Well known for the specialists and general public

· Laboratory confirmation available

· Adulteration, dilution, and substitution methods well known and common

· Need a special room and same sex personnel

· Could be embarrassing for some tested persons

· Invasive method with problems of specimen handling and shipping to laboratory, because of hazardous nature

· Basically 1 to 5 days, depend of substance nature, usage regularity and body type

· For example, Marijuana could stay longer, up to 3-4 weeks with the heavy users with overweight problems

Hair Follicle Drug Testing · Longer window of detection.

· Greater stability (does not deteriorate).

· Can measure chronic drug use.

· Convenient shipping and storage (no need to refrigerate).

· Collection procedure not considered invasive or embarrassing.

· More difficult to adulterate than urine.

· Detects alcohol/cocaine combination use.

· More expensive.

· Test usually limited to basic 5-drug panel.

· Cannot detect alcohol use.

· Will not detect very recent drug use (1 to 7 days prior to test).

· Depends on the length of hair in the sample. Hair grows about a half-inch per month, so a 1½-inch specimen would show a 3-month history.
Saliva (Oral Fluid) Drug Testing · Sample obtained under direct observation.

· Minimal risk of tampering.

· Non-invasive.

· Samples can be collected easily in virtually any environment.

· Can detect alcohol use.

· Reflects recent drug use.

· Drugs and drug metabolites do not remain in oral fluids as long as they do in urine.

· Less efficient than other testing methods in detecting marijuana use.

· Approximately 10 to 24 hours.
Surface (Aerosol Drug Testing) · Non-invasive.

· Variable removal date (generally 1 to 7 days).

· Quick application and removal.

· Longer window of detection than urine.

· No sample substitution possible.

· Limited number of labs able to process results.

· People with skin eruptions, excessive hair, or cuts and abrasions cannot wear the patch.

· Passive exposure to drugs may contaminate patch and affect results.

· Patch retains evidence of drug use for at least 7 days, and can detect even low levels of drugs 2 to 5 hours after last use.